Desi’s accused me of cooking a lot of pasta recently because I’m hosting the It’s A Vegan World: Italian event.
Between you and me, there is maybe– just maybe– some truth to that. But then again, why not eat all the pasta you can? Apparently Sophia Loren eats it every day, and just look at her! I can always dream, can’t I?
I add vodka to this very light sauce because it gives the sauce a great depth of flavor. Besides, the alcohol all cooks off, so rest assured you aren’t going to get tipsy after dinner.
Angel-hair pasta is best in this recipe, although regular spaghetti would be fine. The secret here is to add a ton of veggies. Use anything you have on hand. I used mushrooms, green beans and onions, but you could add bell peppers, eggplant, scallions (spring onions), even leafies like arugula, baby spinach or watercress.
I stir in some walnuts to give the pasta more crunch and texture. Pine nuts would work great too.
So here’s my easy, weeknight pasta recipe. Try and use whole-wheat pasta to make sure your dish is as healthy as can be.
Angel-Hair Pasta with Green Beans and Mushrooms
1/2 pound whole-grain angel-hair pasta, cooked according to instructions in salted water.
In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add to the pot:
1 cup of chopped green beans.
Stop the cooking as soon as the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta and beans and set aside. Reserve about 1/2 to 1 cup of the pasta water.
Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Saute, stirring frequently, until the onion softens and turns translucent.
Add 1 pound of sliced button or cremini mushrooms and 1/3 cup of vodka
Saute the mushrooms until they start to caramelize and the liquid is mostly gone.
Add 6 sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil and 1 tsp dried oregano or 2-3 tbsp of fresh oregano, finely chopped
Add 1 tbsp fresh-ground black pepper and salt to taste.
Stir everything together, then add the pasta and beans. Add 1/2 cup of the pasta-boiling water.
Toss together and continue cooking on very low heat another couple of minutes.
Stir in 1/3 cup of lightly toasted and coarsely chopped walnuts.